More Apps for cyclists and traffic specialists
The number of apps made for the Smartphone is by now almost uncountable. Several hundred thousand can be found on Apple’s Appstore and Google Android’s Play Market. There are also dozens of apps available for cyclists. Apps are also being more frequently used for traffic research.
The ‘Positive Drive’ app will shortly appear. This app rewards good driving behaviour. The car driver who stays within the speed limit, selects a preferred route (with his navigation app), or drives outside of the rush hour, can earn bonus points. Points can also be earned by cycling instead of driving the car. In this way one can compete for prizes made available by local small and medium-sized businesses. But in addition to influencing behaviour, the app is designed to gather information for policy making purposes. The data will be anonymised and placed on a website so that it can be analysed to yield information on routes, speeds, delays and so on, and also information such as where the bottlenecks on the cycling paths are, and where do cyclists have to wait for a traffic light.
The latest issue of Fietsverkeer issued by the Cycling Council extensively reviews the possibilities of the various cycling apps. Because most of these apps are in Dutch, we will restrict our review below to apps that could also be useful for non-Dutch speaking cycle specialists.
Holland has over time developed a wide traffic-node network, allowing cyclists to plan a route using node numbers. The app made by the ANWB (the Dutch automobile association) makes the process very easy, with possibilities to set up a route, store it, and follow it. Descriptions of sights and restaurant facilities along the way are also included.
2. Burger Connect
This an app to signal problems to the municipality, such as loose pavement tiles, with photo uploading capabilities.
3. Bike theft
This app performs a check during the purchase of a second-hand bicycle. You can input the brand name, chip number or frame number into the app to see if it shows up in the Bike Theft Register.
This is one of many tracking apps that show which route you took - providing such information as distances, and average speed. It demonstrates tracking capabilities, which is also useful for traffic research.
5. ViaStat Dashboard
This is a general traffic app giving municipal information on traffic accidents and accessibility.
6. iHandHaving (“iEnforcement”)
This app contains many modules related to law enforcement. It is used in Amsterdam to apply law enforcement rules in connection with bike theft.
7. Op De Fiets Werkt Beter (“It’s Better By Bike”)
An app to record the cycling kilometres ridden, as part of the “It’s Better By Bike” campaign. Registered participants regularly commuting to work by bike get a reward.